Some 50km northwest of Berlin, venerable tree-lined avenues home in on the rolling forests that cradle lakes on Brandenburg’s border with Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania – where this landscape is protected as Müritz National Park. But just south, on the languid shores of Grienericksee, lies the pretty little town of RHEINSBERG, where Frederick the Great claimed to have spent his happiest years as a young crown prince living in a modest Schloss, studying for the throne and giving occasional concerts.

Rheinsberg’s tiny centre is worth a quick exploration, and though there are few real landmarks, it features genteel, leafy, cobbled streets and several pottery workshops on the south side of town, which carry on centuries-old local traditions. Digs south of the Schloss have traced the origins of the local industry to the early thirteenth century, and Rheinsberg continues to be known for ceramics and faïence (tin-glazed pottery), though today’s most popular pieces are sturdy rustic ones with cream and dark blue glazes.

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